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Films of the Year 2012

February 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Film Review 2012: My Top 8 

Well it is nearly Christmas again and the new year beckons. Over the Christmas break, you may like to catch up on some movies and are looking for some suggestions. If you have not seen these films, see some of them over the Christmas break. However, I do warn you that you may not like every film I love. We all have different tastes and sensibilities.

In order of their release the following list is my Top 8 Films of 2012.

1 The Descendents  George Clooney  - (89% Approval by Critics) -  My score 9 out of 10  - Oscar Nominated 

From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries

If you like a solid drama that is highly emotional and moving,  you will love this film.


2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoe - 86% Approval by Critics -  My Score 9 out of 10 - Oscar Nominated and won for Best Edit  -  My favourite Thriller

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.

I loved the mood of this film. It takes a while to get into the film but once you get there, it is an engrossing story. It is not for the faint hearted but it is an exceptional work from David Fincher ( Seven , Fight Club) The film is set in Sweeden and you certainly feel the grim Sweedish winter.  If you liked Seven or Fight Club, you will love this film. I prefered this version to the original Sweedish version.


3 Salmon Fishing in Yemen (70% Critics approval) I gave this film 8.5 out of 10 My favourite Rom Com

When Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a "good will" story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.

I really liked the script and the dialogue was snappy and witty. If you like Woody Allen films, you will love this charming romantic comedy. Well worth a look over Christmas


4 Get the Gringo 80% Score from the Critics I loved it 9 out of 10   ( exceptionally entertaining) 

Mel Gibson finds new life in a Mexican jail after getting caught at the border with $4 million dollars of Mobster money in this production from former first assistant director turned helmer, Adrian Grunberg

I really thought that Mel Gibson returned to top form with this film. Due to Mel's fall from grace the film was not seen by audiences. See this film as it is a very enjoyable film.



5  The Dark Knight Rises  87 % Critics Approval -  My Favourite Action Film 9 out of 10 

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane..

If you have not seen this film yet, make sure you see it this Christmas. The Director Christopher Nolan is the best Action Director in the world. What I love about this film is that there is actually a script and a story at the core of this film.



6 Arbritage  -   85 % Critics Approval - My score  8 out of 10  A look at the Finance World and Big Business 

When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote (Laetetia Casta). Just as he's about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected bloody error forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a face from Miller's past.

This film is gripping. If you have not seen it , I am sure you will love it . Richard Gere returns to form.


7  Argo 95 % Critics Approval  My score 9.5out of 10 Awesome and the best film of 2012 in my humble opionon.

Based on true events, Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Just see this film. I hope I have not overhyped it. I saw it and loved the film. My personal Favourite


8 The Sessions 93 % Critics approve My score 8 out of 10  My favourite Art House Film. 

Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.

This is a confronting film that examins the sex lives of the disabled.  Yes this sounds off putting but I think if you give this film a chance, its emotional punch will leave you moved. This is a film that you will remember years from now.


Not in my Top 8 But worth a mention

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Mission Impossible 4
  • The Iron Lady
  • Margin Call
  • The Sapphires
Just as a reminder please look at our Film Schools and start the new year the best possible way.
Till 2013, have a great Christmas 
Colm O'Murchu - Director Australian Film Base.
Colm O'Murchu owns International and Australian Film Base. He produces and directs independant film productions and teaches emerging film makers to make their very own professional films.




Final Cut Pro 10 X – A revolution in Creative Disaster

February 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

What's on at Australian Film Base in February 2012: 

The Melbourne One Day Film School   This Saturday 10th March 9am - 6pm 
Trinity College, University of Melbourne  Royal Pde,  Parkville.

Post Why has Apple destroyed a  really good Editing Software?  Final Cut Pro X Review 

I have to start todays article by saying that since I started using computers, I have always used and loved Apple. During the mid 90s when Apple where ninty days from receivership, I believed and stayed with Apple.  In that time  Apple has risen from a basket case to the most profitable company in the world. The reason for this is plain and simple. Apple always made great products. This value alone drove Apple to the top.

Now that has changed and for the first time ever, I have to say that an Apple product stinks. Their latest editing software offering, Final Cut Pro X, is an insult to film editors.  Thrown up dogs breakfast seems to be more appealing than this amateur dribble. In fact, amateurs should steer  clear of this rubbish and use any  other editing software.   I will tell you about the best alternative editing software later.

I have always wanted to write positive articles about how the film world works. The only reason I am writing a negative article is that I do not want to see people suffer. I all ready have and feel compelled to warn everyone.

Last week I visited a client of mine, David.  I had shot his film and  I was interested in how the edit was going.  He was editing on Final Cut Pro X and asked me if I could do a final polish on the film. Then for the first time I attempted to edit on Final Cut Pro X.

This proved to be Mission Impossible. It felt like back in the late 80s when I edited my first film and I used  two VHS machines and crash edited two clips together. Or the old steenbacks where we used to cut and splice film print .  Definitely preferable to Final Cut Pro X.  The whole purpose of an editing software is to make life easy and make a film look professional. Final Cut Pro X fails totally.

Why is it so bad?

This  Conan O"Brien review of Final Cut Pro X  should outline some of the problems.  There are many more reasons not to stay with Final Cut Pro X.   To put it bluntly,  I would describe Final Cut Pro X as a nasty virus. The sooner it is eliminated the better.

What are the alternative editing software. I have had a good look and for value for money and for similarity to the old Final Cut Pro 7 , Adobe Premiere Pro is excellent.
I am making the change very soon and the best price I have found for the editing software is at B& H video in New York which express delivers all of their products to the consumer. Here are the links to their sites


If you need tutorials on how  to use Adobe Premiere Pro have a look at software tutorialsThey have a range of tutorials in using software including learning how to transfer from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro  They also have tutorials on starting afresh with Adobe Premiere Pro. They charge $25US per month for their tutorials and you can cancel at any time. They also have tutorials on a myriad of different software.  Very good value for money.

If you are in Melbourne, please pop into our  One Day Film School at Triinity College  University of Mebourne.
Tonight, I am in Melbourne at the Premiere Screening for the September - December 4 Month Film School. The Film is called Houseraiders and  it s turned out very well.




Colm O'Murchu


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